Introduction to Restorative Justice (APA2355.02)

Alisa Del Tufo

Restorative Justice is a set of values and practices that are having a considerable impact on the way our justice system, schools, workplaces, conflict zones and communities think about and enact justice. Restorative Justice asks: What if harm doers were given the opportunity to take responsibility and make amends? If survivors were able to be active participants in defining what justice is and how it could be enacted to help them to heal and move on? And if the larger community was involved in this accountability and healing process? It also asks the more elemental question: how can we help people to care more about each other and to heal when harm has been done?

In the current social environment, we are questioning the value and humanity of our current system of “justice”. Given this potential openness to change, it is not enough to say that the American system of punishment does not achieve these goals. Restorative justice claims to provide the structure and philosophy needed to make this transformation to justice more real. But what are the philosophical, psychological, social and emotional values, concepts and practices on which it is built and can be mobilized to support that change? How can we ensure as much as possible that restorative justice is actually restorative and what theory and practices are most valuable in that effort?

This class will expose you to many of the core ideas and practices of restorative justice. It is designed to provide you with understanding of the history, theory and practices of this field. You will learn how to run circles and facilitated dialogues to address conflict and to build community. You will also be offered opportunities to be a part of the campus based Restorative Justice Collaborative.

Learning Outcomes:
1. Learn about and understand the building blocks of restorative justice
2. Explore the reasons that restorative justice is an alternative to the carceral system and current forms of punishment
3. Learn and practice restorative justice techniques and practices
4. Develop an understanding of the philosophical and psychological underpinnings of restorative justice

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Course Level: 2000-level
Credits: 1
M 3:40PM -5:30PM (2nd seven weeks)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: Every Term

Categories: 2000 , Advancement of Public Action , All courses , Fully In-Person , One Credit , Second Seven Week